Throwing Stones

“The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. So what do you say?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more.”

(John 8:3-11 ESV, emphasis mine)

This is a beautiful story of mercy and redemption. A woman was caught in the act of adultery which by law, stated that she should be stoned. It is not noted anywhere that the woman begged or pleaded for mercy–perhaps because she expected none. I believe the woman- and every one else there-thought that she would die that day. But Jesus had other plans. He halted their murderous intentions and self-righteous thoughts with just one sentence.

Note that the accusers called Jesus, “Teacher” and that the woman called Jesus, “Lord.”  Jesus had not just spared her life– He saved her soul.

Jesus did not condemn her–even though He is the only One who could have picked up a stone. Instead, Jesus chooses to take our sins and like stones–throw them behind His back. (Is 38:17)

 “You will cast all our sins
into the depths of the sea.”
 (Micah 7:19)

Let us drop our stones of bitterness, hate, envy, self-righteousness and anger- among a multitude of other sins-where we stand. And instead of walking away, let us kneel.

image via flickr commons via Jonathan Pincas

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